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how to say no

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  • how to say no

    Hi All,

    I will trouble you all with a seemingly boring, yet arduous at times, task...

    I find it extremely difficult to say no to any kind of invitation....ah, lemme clarify...I don't mean an invitation from a girl...that is very simple, since I don't get any....what I am talking about here is the invitation for say a few drinks or dinner and karaoke by some of my co-workers...

    Since they know I am staying alone in the countryside and usually don't have any plans in the evening on working days....they invite me for some of their outings...I for one do not want to go since it is really difficult to try to understand them or be understood by them....language being the biggest barrier...

    I would rather sit alone in the pub and enjoy a few, how do I go about saying a NO, that is polite yet firm....I don't deny the fact that many a time, it may be they who may not want me there with them....and just invite me courteously...but how the hell do I figure that out?

    Thanks for responding...

  • #2
    Re: how to say no

    That's easy (in theory anyway). Most Japanese understand that living here with only a minimal understanding of the language must be quite stressfull.
    Try saying "I fancy a night in with an English Video" or " I'm expect my mum to phone." Or just be honest


    • #3
      Re: how to say no

      It's kind of funny that if you do go out with them, you have trouble understanding, but that's where you're likely to learn all the really useful japanese. So I hear you on the "can't understand what's going on and it's not that much fun" thing, but if you stick with it for a bit longer, you may find that you actually start to enjoy going out with the guys.

      If you're worried that they are just asking you to be polite... you said that you have trouble understanding them. So it's be pretty easy for them to organise with each other to go out and not have you know about it. They probably do want you to go, so as long as you are there, try to have fun, I reckon it's the place where you'll learn the most about japan, spending that quality karaoke time with the guys from work. It's cheesy but people seem to let their guard down at those times.


      • #4
        Re: how to say no

        Curry, Japanese have an excellent phase called Chotto....They use it like this..."Ikitai kedo....chotto youji ga aru..actually you don`t have to say anything after chotto. They won`t ask you any further questions.
        And though I udnerstand that you might not always want to go out with them, but I suggest don`t stop it completely. Afterwork socializing in Japan is an excellent way to connect to people. As Bluedog says, they let their guards off after a couple of drinks, and so thats the best time you can hear them talk about many work related secrets, which they never talk while they are at work.


        • #5
          Re: how to say no

          the best way is to say yes and blow them out.
          They will never invite you again.


          • #6
            Re: how to say no

            Thanks for the responses....

            I must add on to what I said earlier. One of my gaijin co-workers never goes to any parties in the company...he said flat NOs a few times and they don't ask him out anymore...

            The (negative) fallout is that he doesn't have any J friends (lots of girls though)...and the positive one is that he is left alone, which is pretty much what he wants...

            As for me, I am confused. I can neither be like my gaijin friend, nor become one of the J-folks here. So, at times it really gets difficult.

            Most of the times, I am caught unawares...they ask me if I am doing anything after 7 pm....and I say no...except listen to some music (and read posts on this forum..:-))....which is what they already know...and so the same story is repeated...

            But I guess I will use the word, "Chotto" more often now.....btw, I am trying to learn Japanese....and I understand these parties are often the best places to get it hands-on...however, hope you understand !
            I can't be beer-drinking and an eager student at the same time...:-)

            anyway, thanks folks...


            • #7
              Re: how to say no

              I have the same problem.

              I usually tell them I have plans (normally I have something to do) or I say I am tired and need rest. Japanese seem to respect the need for rest.



              • #8
                Re: how to say no


                my best mate in Japan is a Japanese guy, beginner-level English speaker. My Japanese ability is the same. No, it's worse!
                He used to be my student, then he quit the language school. During the last class he asked me to go out for a drink. 'Oh God no!` I thought. 'Here I will be in my free time giving a bloody free lesson to this guy!' A dumb attitude, I have since learned. We had a great time. As I said, now we are best mates. Sure, language is difficult, but the spoken word isn't the only tool of communication. Now I usually catch up with him and his friends (all of whom are beginner-level English speakers) and we have a great time.
                It's true what the other posters's a great way to learn the language and about Japan, and who knows, you might meet some great people!

                (and karaoke with Japanese friends is cheesy, but hell it's a lotta fun)


                • #9
                  Re: how to say no

                  Yours is not an all uncommon problem but you can wiggle out of it if you wish. First I agree with all of those who have said that it's a great way to make friends and to be social and to seek out different experiences. If holding your drink is a problem (you don't say this in your post), then it's OK to sip your beer even though others will encourage you to drink up so your glass can be refilled. but if you wish to hold down the amount of booze you drink, then just take a sip and the glass will be refilled to the top again. Or you can order a "chu-hi" which you can drink at your own pace and even at the urging of your mates, can still sip. But this is not a problem as I read your post.

                  You can use the "chotto yoji ga arimasu ga" and that will suffice but I get the feeling that you are new to the country - I could be wrong - but hey it's a great way to meet new people. You don't have to do this every night but at your own pace and what you can physically handle. Don't worry about the lack of Japanese so much - a certain amount of understanding will come with time - but you can steer things to English and the others in the group will attempt to communicate in English. So in the end you all wind up a little more bi-lingual. Go for it man!

                  Good luck.


                  • #10
                    Re: how to say no

                    why is the author in japan?